A family trip to China is never going to be dull: the simple act of ordering a meal or crossing the road can be a white-knuckle experience in the big cities. But adventurous families looking for adrenaline-packed thrills and spills can rest assured that there are plenty of extreme activities in China that will step up the insanity levels a notch or 10. The only question is, are you brave enough to tackle them?
The Ultimate Skywalk: Coiling Dragon Cliff Walkway
A head for heights is going to be essential for some of China’s most extreme attractions! You don’t need to be in perfect shape or be above a certain height to experience this daredevil attraction on Tianmen Mountain in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Hunan. A glass walkway stretches for 100 meters around the mountain, clinging perilously to a cliff edge 1,400 meters high, while offering mind-blowing mountain views for anybody calm enough to appreciate them. The 1.5-meter-wide walkway is open to anybody game enough to step out onto the heart-stopping skywalk. Opened in 2016, it’s the longest and most dramatic of three similar walks in the Tianmen Mountain Scenic Area, and looks out over Tongtian Avenue, which makes 99 dramatic turns as it snakes up the mountain.
Take a Walk Across the World’s Highest and Longest Glass Bridge
Hunan is establishing itself as quite the destination for thrill-seeking visitors to China! In addition to the hair-raising, cliff-clinging skywalk, iit also hosts the world’s highest and longest glass bridge. At a height of more than 300 meters, the bridge stretches 430 meters over the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, and visitors can add extra spice to the experience by bungee jumping or ziplining over the abyss.
? Tip: Don’t try to wing it with this one–there’s some advance planning needed. The bridge can hold a maximum of 600 people at any one time, and entrance (from around $18 USD for bridge only) needs to be reserved in advance for a specific time slot. A Chinese ID card is required to book on the official site, so families on holiday in China would be well advised to book with a tour agency.
⛷ Boxout: Even taking a trip to Walmart can be an adventure in China! Expect to see whole sharks, turtles and crocodiles on ice, and even live, hopping frogs. Being brave enough to cook and eat one is a further step up the adventure ladder.
Tackle the World’s Biggest Skate Park
If heaven is a half pipe, then the SMP Skate Park, on the outskirts of Shanghai, is Paradise itself. This is the world’s largest skate park, hosting seven concrete bowls, a 40-meter half pipe, rails and a mock street-scene, all set out in a somewhat spooky lunar-esque landscape. Built by skate specialists Convic at a cost of around $25 million, it’s the ultimate place to showcase your mad skills (or just watch the offspring showcase theirs). Entrance to the park is around $10 USD. The park has bleachers seating several thousand spectators, and gets busy at weekends for major skating events. During the week things are quiet – somewhat eerily so, allowing visitors to hone their skills without onlookers.
Brave this Terrifying Cliff Swing
Ahhh, swinging through the air, so relaxing…except when you’re being pushed off a cliff edge into misty nothingness over a 300-meter sheer drop! Few parents are going to willingly watch their kids be strapped into this vertigo-inducing swing at Wansheng Ordovician Park. The highest mountain swing in the country comes complete with safety harness, but this might be one that’s strictly for the grownups. In addition to the swing, there’s a daredevil footbridge over a canyon to reach a lookout point, and the world’s longest and highest cantilevered walkway, which juts out in an A-formation for more than 80 meters from a sheer cliff edge. White water rafting, climbing and canyoning are other activities in the park.
Keep Cool with Whitewater Rafting
Daredevil families in Shanghai can escape the city swelter and get an adrenaline rush with white water rafting trips out remote locations such as Xinan Jiang, near Huangshan, and Bairma Tan, Anqin. Against an impossibly scenic backdrop, visitors will navigate Class III and Class IV rapids (on a 1-6 scale, 6 being near impossible). Dragon Adventures offers trips that can be tailored to meet families’ individual needs, and younger visitors can simply splash in calm pools.
You can also try our route for nature-loving families going to China.